Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#1852: Steve Kroschel

We’ve covered the Gerson therapy before. The Gerson therapy is a regimen that claims to be able to naturally cure even severe cases of cancer through a special diet, coffee enemas, and various supplements. It does no such thing, of course, but is pure pseudoscience responsible for parting desperate, often terminally ill people (at best with their money; that cancer patients often feel better when taken off the often powerful conventional treatments also allows them to provide positive testimonials for the therapy before they die (researchers interested in studying Charlotte Gerson’s clinic in Mexico quickly discovered that the clinic didn’t follow up or record what happened to patients after they left; an attempt some 30 years ago managed to locate 21 patients over a 5-year period through annual letters or phone calls: at the 5-year mark, only one was still alive, but not cancer-free). It has, however, managed to establish itself as one of the most popular (and dangerous) brands of cancer quackery available. (There’s a good assessment available here, with a FAQ here).

Steve Kroschel is one the most ardent advocates for the therapy, especially through his feature film “The Beautiful Truth”, (reviewed here and here; some more background here; Badger’s Law applies), which essentially claims that Gerson discovered the cure for cancer and several other diseases sixty years ago – a claim that is backed up by judiciously selected anecdotes (none of the testimonials give sufficient detail or evidence to allow any conclusions regarding the therapy to be drawn, of course) – but that the truth has been vigorously attacked and suppressed by the evil medical community and Big Science and Big Pharma, who’ll rather push toxins. The film appears to be modeled on Expelled in terms of layout, ideas and veracity, and mostly features cancer quackery through the explorations of Kroschel’s (then) fifteen-year-old son Garrett, to whom it was made it “abundantly clear that, contrary to the disinformation campaign spear-headed by the multi-billion dollar medical and pharmaceutical industry, a cure for virtually all cancers and chronic diseases does exist – and has existed for over 80 years!” It’s an interesting way of viewing your fellow humans: apparently every doctor must know or suspect that alternative therapies, like the Gerson therapy, will work, but wont reveal it – indeed, their solidarity in evil to the pharmaceutical industry is so strong that they themselves will rather die from cancer rather than let the truth out and become billionaires in the process.

Elsewhere (discussed here) Kroschel veers into anti-fluoridation conspiracies, complete with images of Hitler and his concentration camps, and claims that Hitler wanted use sodium fluoride in the water to supply to sterilize people and force them into submission, which makes no sense whatsoever. Since crankery is magnetic, it is little surprise that he also promotes full-fledged dental amalgam quackery (more here). Kroschel has even bought into some of the more ridiculous brands of food woo, and has been caught arguing that cooked food is “dead”: In one of his videos he shows two pictures, one of cooked and another of uncooked baby carrot, which the narrator analyzes with a Kirlian photography and says that “[t]he uncooked carrot has a startling line of strong energy” that the cooked carrot lacks, hence Pasteurized food is “dead”. It’s hard to argue with that claim. (The lesson is, apparently, that it is better to eat live food because only then will we be able to absorb its life energy, though the mechanisms are left undescribed).

In 2014, Kroschel released the documentary “Heal for Free”. We have not seen it, but feel qualified to dismiss it as conspiratorial nonsense; apparently it features earthing therapy (now, that’s some serious crackpottery).

Diagnosis: At least Kroschel seems to be a true believer – the gullibility runs deep with this one, but a conspiracy mindset is fertile ground for such nonsense and woo. His film does seem to have reached a certain audience, and has certainly done nothing good, despite the fact that the idiocy is pretty obvious to anyone with even minimal critical thinking skills.

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